The Cost of Staying With a Toxic Bad Boy


The sex might be off-the-charts, but the toxic bad boy may break your heart. Don't let him.

"Jane" is working with me to get over an abusive ex-boyfriend. They broke up a year ago, and she can't stop thinking about Mr. Toxic Bad Boy. The sex was hot. She fell in love quickly. He came on strong at first, and then dropped her like a hot potato when she began to express what she needed in the relationship. She was heartbroken.

In our coaching sessions, Jane obsesses about what she might have done to cause the breakup. She stalks his online profile late every night and hasn't had a good night sleep in months. Aside from the huge toll this breakup is taking on her health, her addiction to her ex is also keeping her from finding a healthy relationship with a good man.

In our last session, we were talking about how much this bad boy has cost her - emotionally, physically, and monetarily (therapy, coaching, and medication for anxiety, depression, and insomnia).

“If he only knew how much you’ve spent on him!” I said. “All he did was take you to dinner. Oh wait, he didn’t even pay for your dinner dates. He couldn't even give you that. And now you take him to therapy every week. How much more time and money do you want to spend on him?”

Jane's ex is cruel and selfish. He has a pattern of abusing women; leading them on, charming their pants off (literally), and running away the minute they fall for him.

Are you dating a toxic bad boy?

How do you know you’re dating a toxic charmer? Ask yourself, “How is he treating me? Do I feel secure in this relationship? Do I feel good when I’m with him? Am I secure that he's my boyfriend?”

If you’re feeling unclear about where you stand and how much he values you, this guy is not your boyfriend. He’s a player. Your life is better off without him. No matter how great the chemistry is, no matter how mind-blowing the sex is, the bottom line is this man is bad news. Get out now. And find support so you don't go back.

Before you open your heart to the wrong men, identify your personal standards and emotional boundaries for how you want men to treat you. Work on building up your self-esteem and surround yourself with good people who support and love you. Men will only take advantage of you if you allow them to. Stop allowing abuse, learn to say no to men who treat you like crap, and you’ll begin to attract higher quality men.

Next time you’re in a relationship with a man who treats you poorly, think about the cost you're paying to stay. He may be luring you in with concerts, dinners, and great sex, but do you want to pay the high price of working out your boyfriend issues in therapy? Or will you leave now to make room for someone of higher integrity who values you? Do you want to be with a man who makes you feel loved or do you want to keep guessing, worrying, and feeling insecure? The choice is yours.